“Lifting the Veil”

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Mark Ames referred me to the documentary “Lifting the Veil.” I’m only about 40 minutes into it and am confident it will appeal to NC readers, provided you can keep gagging in the sections that contain truly offensive archival footage (in particular, numerous clips of Obama campaign promises).

Ames’ mini-review:

It begins with John Stauber, one of the great anti-PR writers, and historian Sharon Smith laying out the flat rancid truth: That the Democratic Party of today is the Big Co-apter. The Republicans have always been the party of corporate interests; and the Democrats portray themselves as agents of social change and progressive/populist opposition to corporate power, but the Democratic Party’s job is to co-apt these anti-corporate movements and subvert them to the same (or a different faction of) corporate interests.

To complete our two-corporate-party farce, we have an alleged third choice, a so-called opposition “Third Party,” the largest “neither left nor right”/”neither Democrat nor Republican” third party for the past three decades. And that party is…ta-dum!…Libertarianism. Which was nothing but a corporate PR project designed to co-apt the whole realm of Third Party opposition and subvert it to the most radical corporate agenda of all. In other words, even our Third Party/outside-the-system party is nothing but the most purified, most extreme pro-corporate party of all!

At this point you have to assume that the oligarchy is just laughing at us. “Hey, here’s an idea–let’s make the opposition to our fake-two-party system nothing but our corporate wish-list we send to Santa every year, and package that as the radical opposition.” “No way Mr Koch, there’s no way they’ll buy it–everyone today who’s against the two-party system is on the radical Left.” “Just give me a couple of decades, and a few billion dollars, you’ll see…” CUT TO TODAY: “Holy shit, you were right, Chuck! Ah-hah-hah-hah! The suckers have nowhere to go but right into our mouths–doors one, two and three our ours! Mwah-hah-hah!”

As black activist Leonard Pinkney says, “The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves–and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?

You can watch it below or at Metanoia:

Lifting the Veil from S DN on Vimeo.

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  1. Foppe

    While it is quite obviously true (given earlier discussions) that both parties are pro-corporate, it seems to me that there is two moderately interesting points to be made: First of all, to note that, given the fact that politicians are beholden to their sponsors, the political dynamics were different (and the pro-financial-interests stance of the democratic party was less absolute) when the unions could still buy more candidates. Secondly, and this will sound rather obvious: not all corporations are the same, as not every US firm is interested in having the maximum amount of competition between nations, or in having a heavily financialized economy. These ‘other’ (sometimes called Main Street, but given the forays of auto companies into the lending business and Enron in the derivatives business I am not sure this is quite accurate any more) businesses used to also be able to gather political support, but they too seem to have been relegated to the sidelines. Why is that? One part of the answer can, it seems to me, be found here: (David Harvey, Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom)

    In his Whitehall speech Bush made much of the fact that the last person to stay at Buckingham Palace was Woodrow Wilson, “an idealist, without question.” Bush recounted how at a dinner hosted by King George V in 1918, “Woodrow Wilson made a pledge. With typical American understatement, he vowed that right and justice would become the predominant and controlling force in the world.” Yet this was the same Woodrow Wilson whose attorney general launched the infamous “Palmer raids” against immigrants and “anarchists” that culminated in the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti (now pardoned as innocent). The Wilson administration ruthlessly crushed the Seattle general strike in 1918 and exiled the leaders to the newly minted Soviet Union. It imprisoned Eugene Debs for speaking out against the war and escalated its interventionism in Central America to put U.S. Marines into Nicaragua for more than a decade. Wilson: “Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.”

    A populist nationalism has often dominated and operated as a powerful check upon liberal international engagements. The isolationism of the 1920S, centered at the time within the Republican party, stymied Wilsonian internationalism at home (the Senate rejected joining the League of Nations), while the imperialist policies of the European powers checked it abroad.
    Bush’s subsequent advocacy of Wilsonian liberal international idealism, including attempts at democratization and nation building in Afghanistan and Iraq, suffused with the rhetoric of individual liberty and freedom, signaled a major political break in how this strain in U.S. foreign policy was to be articulated. The September 11 attacks and the subsequent declaration of a global war on terror allowed populist nationalism to be mobilized behind rather than against Wilsonian internationalism. This is the real significance of the widespread claim (accepted within the United States but not elsewhere) that the world fundamentally changed with September 11. That this is where the neoconservatives wanted to be all along is also deeply relevant.
    By contrast, large segments of the Democratic party, along with the traditional Republican right wing, have become comfortable with ideas of protectionism and isolationism (eventually looking to abandon the Iraq venture to its ugly fate). True-blue conservatives, such as William Buckley, mindful of the strong tradition of noninterventionism in the affairs of others that stretches back at least to Edmund Burke, became ferocious critics of the Iraq venture.

  2. russell1200

    “As black activist Leonard Pinkney says, “The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves–and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

    By that description, you could call them the useful idiots. They are the people working for corporate well being through individual liberty. To the extent that some (many) of them by the corporate line, the way that liberal democrats bought the communist line, I think that would be a useful description.

      1. alex

        Another radical possibility would be democracy. Democracy as in one person one vote, rather than one [million] dollars one vote.

        Nah, never mind, I’m talking utopian silliness.

        1. bmeisen

          One person/2 votes please. In other words when you step into the voting booth you would cast a vote for a candidate and a vote for a party. The one man/one vote, single-member-district-plurality system is what creates the 2-party oligarchy.

          1. alex

            I’m all for a mixed district/party representation (the Bundestag has such a system) ranked preference (anything other than first-past-the-post plurality, see Australia) and lots of other good stuff that I think would help, but I still think the blatant bribes (oops, I meant large campaign contributions) are _the_ biggest factor.

            Even with the two party duopoly we used to have better representation than we do now, and if we had all the other good things but kept the bribery we’d just have a wider variety of bought-and-paid-for politicians to choose from.

    1. ScottS

      To be a useful idiot, you have to truly believe. Politicians are coldly cynical and calculating.

      I’d say the media is much closer to “useful idiot” status since they believe what they are told, and don’t understand much of what they report on. They are gullible, at the very least.

    2. vraie démocratie maintenant

      foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves

      elephants as heretics
      say ,”donkeys are your hypocrites”

      a mêlée to the death
      of heresy against hypocrisy

  3. Foppe

    With regard to the video, it is quite amusing to hear how much Obama promised.. I wonder what would’ve happened if someone had just compiled a video like this of all the promises he’d made made during the campaign, and run it before the vote between Hilary and Obama.. Wouldn’t it have made people slightly skeptical? Or was the atmosphere really that crazy that this sounded possible?

  4. F. Beard

    “So what does that make Libertarians?”

    The only hope? True libertarians are opposed to central banking. Of course there are fascist poseurs too including those who desire a government enforced gold standard.

    1. aet

      “True libertarians”?

      I have some of those living down the street from me, right next door to some “true Scotsmen”!

      1. F. Beard

        It’s true that “true libertarians” are not in total agreement of what the proper role of government should be. I’m not sure myself. But one thing is blindingly obvious – the government backed banking and money system must be abolished. After that is accomplished the need for government should “wither away” in time leaving many arguments about the role and size of government mute.

        We really need a broad coalition between liberals, progressives and libertarians against the banks.

        1. Praedor

          Fairly silly. The government (as per Constitution) owns/operates the money. It is NOT the purview of businesses, it is not the purview of banks. It is the absolute domain of the government.

          The problem with the Fed is it isn’t actually federal, it is private. A truly governmnet/people owned/operated bank should replace the Fed…and no, gold should not be the basis of money. Not enough gold in the world to work AND…the value of virtually worthless gold is entirely subjective. It has no magical inherent value. It is less useful than silver or platinum, being largely relegated to mere jewelry, caps on teeth (so fascists can pry them out when convenient), and a small (but actually useful) role in nanomedicine and electronics.

          You didn’t mention gold but being a libertarian…you are all infected with the religious belief in the magic of gold.

          1. F. Beard

            You didn’t mention gold but being a libertarian…you are all infected with the religious belief in the magic of gold. Praedor

            LOL! That is a huge laugh. Certainly people should be allowed to use anything mutually agreed upon for private debts but anyone who calls for government recognition of anything but its own fiat as money is a fascist, not a libertarian.

          2. F. Beard

            Fairly silly. The government (as per Constitution) owns/operates the money. It is NOT the purview of businesses, it is not the purview of banks. It is the absolute domain of the government. Praedor

            But there’s the trap. By insisting on a single money supply for all debts you serve the bankers’ interest who are then able to steal purchasing power by extending credit in that money. And if you abolish private banking, then you’ll cripple the economy.

            The solution is separate government and private money supplies. The government can simply create, spend and tax its own fiat. As for the private sector, the banks would attempt to pyramid on top of the government’s fiat but the leverage would be limited without government privilege.

            With separate government and private money supplies, the private sector would be forced to share wealth with workers since it would no longer have the option of stealing purchasing power via money creation (so-called “credit”).

      2. Tao Jonesing


        I think I understand what Beardy is saying when he refers to “true libertarians.” Modern libertarians draw heavily from the works of Hayek, who redefined the “liberty” of classical liberalism to mean just “negative liberty” (i.e., you have liberty as long as you are given a choice). By redefining liberty, he redeifined libertarianism.

        Most most libertarians have no idea that they’re worshipping a maimed vision of liberty that invites fascism and totalitarianism.

        1. ?

          “The solution is separate government and private money supplies.”

          So something close to what the EU is now. Maybe the Euro Dollar market, a libertarian playground. No god damn thank you. The ECB can’t lend to governments directly and can’t create money itself, that is up to the private banks. So governments have to borrow from private banks, at a big markup cost, and have to use their public utilities, services and resources as collateral. As I said, hell no. The EU is a right wing, financialized basket case. The people are going to have to radically change the ECB, radically change how the richer countries that are financial powers share more equitably with the poorer countries or it will crumble. As it is structured now, I’d like it to.

          I agree with Yves Smith, finance is a public utility. We could collectively do what the banks do at a lower cost and the rents (cause that is all finance is, unearned income) could go back into social programs. I think North Dakota’s state bank is something to look at. Allowing financial parasites to create money out of thin air (which is wealth extraction, not creation) in the fractional reserve banking system on a computer screen is no logical way to run a financial system.

          Also, basing our monetary system on gold makes no logical sense. It is a 19th century idea well past its time. Karl Polanyi showed clearly why the gold standard was the project of neo-classical ideologues and he explained in the “Great Transformation” why the system was such a disaster. Expanding and contracting purchasing power, the consumption or resources and with it pollution based upon the value of some damn metal makes no sense in the world we live in. If we were going to base our monetary system on a resource of real value, why not it be water? I know it sounds crazy, but Adam Smith’s diamond/water paradox ironically shows why this would make more sense. Smith showed that while diamonds have no use value, they have exchange value. Water however is extremely useful and needed yet has very little exchange value. Well, that might have been the case then with far less people, pollution and ecological destruction, that paradox shows the real problems we and economics are facing now. It is time to stop looking to ideas that didn’t even work that well 150 years ago, when the world was a much different place.

    2. wunsacon

      Beard, you might want to call yourself something other than a “libertarian”, because (a) you and I share some views and (b) self-professed “libertarians” tell me I’m a liberal (which I can’t disagree with, even though I argue with self-professed “liberals”, because I don’t know what the hell that label is supposed to mean anyway).

      Maybe we should refer to our politicalcompass.org scores…or not use labels at all and just talk about what policies we want to change and why.

    3. woohoo

      Libertarians reject the concept of corporate charters. That’s a good place to start. no hiding behind the skirts of politicians. Full liability for all actions.

      1. alex

        “Libertarians reject the concept of corporate charters.”

        *Some* libertarians do. But is that, for example, a plank of the Libertarian Party platform?

        That’s why many people, including myself, don’t take “libertarianism” all that seriously. Apparently it can mean almost anything. Therefore in serious political debate it’s best to leave the ism’s out of it, lest the debate degenerate into rooting for or against various teams (and forgetting why).

    4. Clampit

      You know for so few victories or votes, Libertarians sure do wield disproportionate levels of political power. Turns out they were responsible for banking deregulation and now come to find out, despite barely being able to pick a front man, they’ve already been corrupted by corporate interests. Golly whiz, I’d better run home to the Republicrats before any real harm is done.

      I can’t wait to see how the market anarchism movement is hijacked by corporate interests, so I can finally be privy to the error in their ways as well.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Same here: hat tip to DownSouth. He linked this video on March 13, in a “links” comment to the inevitablility of an imperial presidency. Coincidentally, the antidote du jour, was a fox (Obama?).

      Obama commented on the $17 million bonus for Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase and the $9 million bonus for Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs after they melted down our economy: “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen. I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.” (But Dimon is 90% savvier than Blankfein!)

      1. alex

        “That is part of the free-market system.”

        Dear Mr. President,

        Most of the fictional works of George Orwell (a.k.a. Eric Blair) were intended as warnings, not recommendations.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, I’ve been trying to find more time to look at videos since some are really good, and clearly missed the earlier mention.

  5. tz

    I am really tired of “If I want your opinion I’ll give it to you”.

    There are not a few libertarians like me that consider corp(se)orations the undead monsters created by the Frankenstate. I would have them slain. Then the Koch brothers would just have the power two individual had, not the power they seized when liberals concentrated it in DC.

    I know of no country where they want stalinist-maoist like power in the centralized government that doesn’t have a nomenklatura, oligarchy, or other elites living lavishly and breaking all the rules.

    I do not think it would be any gain to change which people are the oligarchs crushing me, which elites get to steal my property.

    Most libertarians are their core are about liberty, so any power, and the corruption that attends, needs to be broken, destroyed, scattered, opposed, or mitigated.

    One thing I can say is almost universal about libertarians is they care about THE RULE OF LAW. You know – the laws against fraud that if they were enforced, even from the old english common law, most of the wall street and DC elite would be in prison serving long sentences.

    But what is your solution? Arbitrary assassination? Basically destroying the rule of law in the other direction with bills of attainder or ex post facto laws – with your supreme court justices gutting the meaning of plain words after being “educated” by your group?

    We will replace a corrupt king with a reign of terror. Why should I want that? I want a second AMERICAN revolution, not a second French revolution. I want to destroy the cozy relationships that mirror the East India company. You just want to start robbing and shooting the incumbents. I wish to reestablish justice and the rule of law – then change the laws to make individuals powerful, not bureaucrats, oligarchs, corpseorations, or nanny-dearest progressives that don’t think I know how to run my life or protect myself.

      1. DownSouth

        Yep. It’s not about liberty at all, but about license.

        We don’t seem to have learned much during the last 500 years, because Machiavelli did a pretty good job of summing the relationship between the aristocrats, the common people and the government over five centuries ago in The Prince:

        [W]hen a private citizen becomes the ruler of his country not through perfidy or intolerable violence but rather through the aid of his fellow citizens, we may call what ensures a civil principality. I say that one becomes the ruler of such a principality through the support of either the common people or the nobles, for these two opposing parties are to be found in every city; and they originate from the fact that the common people do not want to be commanded or oppressed by the nobles, whereas the nobles do want to command and oppress them. From these conflicting desires will come one of three consequences: principality, liberty, or license.

        A principality, then, can come into being either by means of the common people or by means of the nobles, depending upon which of the two has the opportunity. When the nobles see that they can no longer withstand the people, they bestow power upon one of their own part and make him prince so that they can gratify their appetites under his protection. Likewise, when the common people see that they can no longer withstand the nobles, they bestow power upon someone of their own party and make him prince in order to find protection under his authority. The man who becomes prince through the help of the nobles will find it more difficult to remain in power than the man who becomes prince through the help of the people, for the former will be surrounded by men who will presume to be his equals. As a consequence, he will not be able to command them or control them as he would like.

        But the prince who comes to power through the support of the people will stand alone, and there will be few or none at all near him who will not be disposed to obey him. Besides, it is impossible to satisfy the nobles fairly without injuring others, whereas it is indeed possible to do so with respect to the people, for their wishes have more right, since they seek to avoid oppression while the nobles seek to oppress…

    1. Praedor

      Nah. Most libertarians are, at their core, merely greedy and self-centered. Their true core orbits around “I got mine so f*ck you!” They all love them some Ayn Rand.

      1. F. Beard

        Technically, Ayn Rand was a fascist since she favoured a government enforced gold standard.

        1. Foppe

          And yet. The problems we are facing are not caused by the state, they are caused by corporate interests utilizing the state. However, with the state gone, all that remains are corporations on the one hand, and individuals on the other. These individuals could then choose to organize themselves in unions or whatever, but as we have just heard in the case of Colombia, what happens then is that Chiquita hires paramilitary groups to beat the union members into submission. Conclusion: you need a strong state with a monopoly on violence, but without it being controlled by the corporations. And as corporations are best at hoarding money, this means that the people need to control the corporations.
          However, fundamental to all of this is the idea that people need to be able to work together, and to make choices that will affect the lives of the plutocrats negatively. How do you justify that from within a libertarian position? You cannot. Ergo, libertarianism is a primitive doctrine which presupposes that we can live our lives without affecting the lives of others.

      2. Alex R.

        That’s not true. There are two kinds of Libertarians; those who don’t know that Ayn Rand wrote fiction, and those who don’t know that Robert Heinlein wrote fiction.

        1. ambrit

          What’s really funny about all this is that these two “Shining Stars” of the Libertarian firmament were completely dissolute and venal in their private lives. There is a good reason why the “Golden Age” of Science Fiction has been known to be Thirteen. The age when puberty sets in and rationality hasn’t fully been assimilated. As for Ayn Rand? On a par with Enlightenment Fabulism. Such as, A Voyage to Magonia.

        2. Doug Terpstra

          “‘Atlas Shrugged’ is a celebration of life and happiness. Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.”
          —luminary Alan Greenspan, recipient of the 2001 Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service

    2. DownSouth

      tz said:

      Most libertarians are their core are about liberty, so any power, and the corruption that attends, needs to be broken, destroyed, scattered, opposed, or mitigated.

      One thing I can say is almost universal about libertarians is they care about THE RULE OF LAW.

      Most normal people are quick to recognize the logical incoherence in this pair of statements.

      The first is a declaration that all government power must be eviscerated. It is the Utopian vision embraced by both right-wing libertarian and left-wing Bolshevik, the return of mankind to the state of original innocency, a state which Engels describes as one of idyllic harmony with “no soldiers, no gendarmes, no policemen, prefects or judges, no prisons, laws or lawsuits.”

      The second statement stands in complete contradiction to the first, for it calls for using the long arm of the government to reach out and enforce “THE RULE OF LAW.”

      In the mind of a normal person, these two diametrically opposed positions are not reconcilable. So how are they reconcilable in the mind of the libertarian?

      One possible explanation is provided by Andrew M. Lobaczewski in Political Ponerology: A Science of the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes. For the libertarian ideology, with its intolerable internal inconsistencies in the world of normal people, makes perfect sense in the us-vs-them world of the psychopath: license (which the libertarian beguilingly labels “liberty”) for us, and the long arm of the law for them. Lobaczewski explains:

      Their world is forever divided into “us and them”; their little world with its own laws and customs and that other foreign world of normal people they see as full of presumptuous ideas and customs by which they are condemned morally. Their sense of honor bids them to cheat and revile that other human world and its values at every opportunity….

      In the psychopath, a dream emerges like some Utopia of a “happy” world and a social system which does not reject them or force them to submit to laws and customs whose meaning is incomprehensible to them. They dream of a world in which their simple and radical way of experiencing and perceiving reality would dominate; where they would, of course, be assured safety and prosperity. In this Utopian dream, they imagine that those “others”, different, but also more technically skillful than they are, should be put to work to achieve this goal for the psychopaths and others of their kin. “We”, they say, “after all, will create a new government, one of justice.”

      So the psychopath is a two-headed monster, preaching “liberation” and “freedom” out of one side so that he can have license to rape, plunder and kill at will, and tyranny out of the other side so that he can force those “others” to do and be as he wishes.

      1. Tao Jonesing

        This is no surprise. Modern libertarianism is, in fact, the pure form of neoliberalism. It was manufactured by the likes of Hayek, Rothbard, Mises and Freidman on the corporate nickel. These architects assembled top economists, lawyers, philosophers, and social scientists (and I am sure they had psychologists on board, as well) to construct a set of new sociopathic values and institutions to push them into the world as the societal values that inform all decision making, as Gunar Myrdall observed. Many self-identifying libertarians are the very intellectuals that Hayek despised, the type of people who would have been Marxists in another era, if only to show how smart they are, which makes them the biggest fools of all.

      2. Clampit

        “…it calls for using the long arm of the government to reach out and enforce “THE RULE OF LAW.””

        I see, without government there would be no rule of law. Peachy … I am governed therefore I am. Really nice essay, but can you also adjust the valves on your car?

        1. Iolaus

          You are governed and therefore you are civilized. You hold elections to decide who you want to govern, and they govern with your consent. If you are dissatisfied, you participate in electoral politics, and work to convince people that someone else should govern. It’s a terrific model, and the U.S. ought to try it sometime.

          1. Clampit

            What if I don’t want to outsource political power to a single person or faction? Is there some esoteric derivation of human nature that prohibits any other structure in civilized “free” society?

            I can’t help but reminisce on the wisdom of Greenspin when reading all these political diatribes, and it occurs to me that our political structure, perhaps more so than any other, should be accessible to the layman intellect.

          2. DownSouth

            Clampit says: “What if I don’t want to outsource political power…”?

            What makes you so sure you’re going to have any power “to outsource” in the every man for himself, anything goes, might makes right, survival of the strongest, survival of the fittest, kill or be killed, dog eat dog world you fantasize?

            Do you really think you are a match for the power of the likes of Exxon? Goldman Sachs?

          3. Clampit

            So your grand thesis is the government currently checks the power of XOM and GS? Riiiiight….

        2. DownSouth

          The founder’s fear of too much power in government was checked by their great awareness of the enormous dangers of the rights and liberties of the citizen that would arise from within society. Hence, according to Madison, ‘it is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers; but to guard one part of society against the injustice of the other part…” This, if nothing else, required the constitution of public, governmental power whose very essence could never be derived from something which is a mere negative, i.e., constitutional limited government…


          Highly aware of their own ignorance on the subject, they turned to history, collecting with a care amounting to pedantry all examples, ancient and modern, real and fictitious, of republican constitutions; what they tried to learn in order to dispel their ignorance was by no means the safeguards of civil liberties—-a subject on which they certainly knew much more than any previous republic—-but the constitution of power. This was also the reason for the fascination exerted by Montesquieu, whose role in the American Revolution almost equals Rousseau’s influence on the course of the French Revolution…


          Montesquieu confirmed what the founders, from the experience of the colonies, knew to be right, namely, that liberty was ‘a natural Power of doing or not doing whatever we have a Mind’, and when we read the earliest documents of colonial times that ‘deputyes thus chose shall have power and liberty to appoynt’ we can still hear how natural it was for these people to use the two words as synonyms…

          For Montesquieu’s discovery actually concerned the nature of power… [T]he foundation of the republic in America was largely inspired by it. The discovery, contained in one sentence, spells out the forgotten principle underlying the whole structure of separated powers: that only ‘power arrests power’, that is, we must add, without destroying it, without putting impotence in the place of power…


          How well this part of Montesquieu’s teaching was understood in the days of the foundation of the republic! On the level of theory, its greatest defender was John Adams, whose entire political thought turned about the balance of powers… He wrote: ‘Power must be opposed to power, force to force, strength to strength, interest to interest, as well as reason to reason, eloquence to eloquence, and passion to passion’.
          ▬Hannah Arendt, On Revolution

    3. Tao Jonesing

      Most modern libertarians think they’re advocating Jefferson’s conception of liberty. Unfortunately, the libertarian movement is not. Rather, the movement that you see represented by places like Mises.org actually advocates the fascist negative liberty of Hayek.

      That’s the double truth of neoliberalism By redefining words in common usage to mean their opposite, the neoliberals don’t even ave to cross their fingers when they lie because their words mean two different and opposite things, depending on who is listening.

      Neoliberalism purposefully takes advantage of the confirmation bias of people like you to accomplish the opposite of what you say you want. But “most libertarians don’t . . .”. Whatever. It doesn’t matter what most libertarians want. What matters is what they think they want.

  6. Jack Straw

    I am surprised that no mention is made of the Green Party, which unlike the libertarians or LP hold a significant number of offices. Jesse Ventura won office “with” the Reform Party, which later re-branded itself locally the Independence Party as Pat Buchanan became more prominent in the RP nationally.

    While political promises are occasionally dangerous to break, they’re also almost always impossible to keep.

    I’ve noticed that grade school kids don’t seem to have class elections anymore – anywhere. While it alwayes seemed like BS when I was a kid, not having them seems worse.

    1. bmeisen

      Good point – practicing democracy gives us a chance to experience different forms of democracy. Americans seem blind to democratic options, blinded perhaps by the belief that their democracy is the only democracy.

  7. ScottW

    “Lifting the Veil” is one of the best movies I have seen that should be mandatory viewing for every Obama supporter. I remember after Obama was elected, a mainstream pundit commented that of course he will not keep any of his promises–no President ever does. Obama may have just snookered more people with his mesmerizing sermon like speeches following on the the heels of 8 years of Bush Administration terror. Obama’s attempt to capture the conservative independent voter is going to backfire as he loses millions of former supporters who will either stay home, or vote for someone else. There is no chance he will be re-elected unless unemployment falls below 8% (maybe 7.5%) and it is unlikely that will occur before November 2012.

    1. Praedor

      The opponent field is fairly weak so I give Obama better chances of staying in.

      All bets are off if Huntsman actually gets the GOPer nod (fat chance him OR the hypocrit mormon guy getting the nod) with the teabaggers ruling the roost. They are likely to go for Bachman or Palin or Mr Macaca: none with the slightest chance in hell of ever getting elected.


      And they can’t have another “census” to make the unemployment numbers go down falsly for 6 months.

  8. kievite

    I really don’t understand why the statement of the fact that both parties represent business interests generates so much excitement. The possible role of Libertarians as “spoiler” party is the only interesting tidbit.

    I think the idea that the central foundational principle of the capitalist nation-state is that it is a reflection of its economic constituencies (those who own and control the means of production shape the state in the form that they desire) is with us since around early 1800th. And if you ignore all this nonsense about proletarian revolution and proletariat as a new ruling class Marx’s analysis of capitalism is still worth reading.

    The iron law of oligarchy was discovered in 1911. Financial capitalism as a natural and inevitable stage of development of capitalism was analysed by Lenin in his famous “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism” (1916).

    The real question is what are the political possibilities for countervailing forces and which of them can at least temporarily survive and prosper within the polyarchy framework without being co-opted iether by Repug or Dermocrats (this is a term from modern Russia political vocabulary “dermo” is turd in Russian) ?

    Political parties are organizations composed of blocs of major investors who come together to advance favored candidates in order to control the state. They do this through direct cash contributions and by providing organizational support through the contacts, fundraisers and think tanks. Candidates are invested in like stocks. For them electoral success is dependent on establishing the broadest base of elite support. Candidates whom best internalized investor values see their political “portfolios” grow exponentially at the expense of candidates who have poor level of internalization.

    So what you have is a filtering system in which only the most indoctrinated and business friendly advance to state power. Representatives of the major business groups are also often chosen to fill political appointments after a favored candidate is elected (GS is a nice example).

    This is a poliarchy, a political-economic model in which the state by-and-large functions to advance elite business interests on the domestic and international fronts.

    And that is what is meant in promoting “democracy abroad”. Like Mark Curtis said “Polyarchy is generally what British leaders mean when they speak of promoting ‘democracy’ abroad. This is a system in which a small group actually rules and mass participation is confined to choosing leaders in elections managed by competing elites.”

  9. Cynthia

    I don’t see how Obama can sleep at night after he continues to pack his inner circle with key figures from the banking cartel, banksters like Bill Daley and Gene Sperling, especially after knowing that virtually all independent financial experts have said, as Barry Ritholtz points out, that the economy cannot recover until the cartel’s member banks are broken up:


    Only a sociopath with a heart of stone could lie for the banksters. And it sounds like Glen Ford, who co-founded the Black Agenda Report, would agree with me that Obama fits the profile of a stone-hearted sociopath:


    1. Doug Terpstra

      Obama has now left a highly visible and smelly trail of slime and snakeskin, but such sociopaths apparently have no trouble sleeping at all.

      Obama may be an especially talented case afflicted with something called “narcissistic personality disorder” (also from DownSouth, I believe) — an incurable sociopathy wherein empathy is exquisitely feigned but utterly nonexistent. As one shrink aptly put it — the snake pits of Wall Street and Washington are full of such “snakes in suits”. Particularly dangerous variants are also sadists.

  10. Hugh

    Yes, it is all kabuki. Distraction is the primary weapon of class warfare, and the illusion of choice in politics is a central example of it.

    Because people love sports analogies, I use the one that Democrats and Republicans are like two football teams. One year, one wins; another year, the other does. But at the end of the season, it’s all football. It is not like one is pro-football and the other is anti-football.

    The illusion of choice is not, however, restricted to just the two main parties. Libertarians, the Tea Party, the unions, the liberal orgs and A list blogs of the left, all claim to be legitimate alternatives to the two party system. But the Tea Party and the libertarians are largely creatures of Republican politics, and unions, the liberal orgs, and the A list “progressive” blogs are largely stand-ins for the Democratic party. Yes, all of these contain slivers of the uncoopted. There are authentic Tea Partyers, true libertarians, real progressives and liberals, but these can be and are discounted by our elites. For the most part, it comes back to the two parties, and they are just branches of the over-arching corporatist party of the kleptocrats.

    A good rule of thumb is that any organization or group that supports any Democrat or any Republican has been coopted. They are not there to protest against the Man or the System, and push for real change. They are there to disperse, defuse, and redirect such protest to make sure real change never happens.

    1. DownSouth

      It’s a bona fide nightmare.

      The racial factor that Glen Ford (see link in Cynthia’s comment above) raises I believe also plays a role. As he says, Black America is so “psychologically invested” in Obama that the president has been able to neutralize the black community, which constitutes 50% of progressive America.

      So the old racial passions raise their ugly head again, destroying solidarity and any hope for an honest democratic community.

      Why haven’t we developed immunities to this evil?

      I was watching the final episode of Adam Curtis’ latest film last night All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (Ep. 3) – Full. Any hope of democracy in the former Congo was been destroyed by racial strife.

      1. Cynthia


        Most blacks in the US don’t see Obama as an Uncle Tom. They instead see him as a fellow African American who will give them a leg up in life. To them, having a black guy in the White House is their golden ticket to wealth and power.

        But little do they understand that the US is far more divided along economic lines than it is along racial lines. So Obama being a fellow African American should be totally irrelevant to them. Once they realize that Obama’s primary goal as president is to further enrich the wealthy, regardless of their skin color, they’ll finally see him for what he truly is: a colorblind Uncle Tom.

        1. alex

          “To them, having a black guy in the White House is their golden ticket to wealth and power.”

          Evidence for that assertion?

          1. Cynthia


            Living just a stone’s throw away from the Black Belt, which can easily double as a Bible Belt, as well as being a white minority in a black majority workplace, I can vouch for the fact that many southern blacks view Obama as a Messiah for the black cause. And because many of them run neck and neck with their white counterparts when it comes to their bigotry against Muslims, if the Christian Right had been successful at convincing them that Obama was a practicing Muslim at some point in his life, believe me, there’s no way in hell southern blacks would have come together to form a voting block for Obama.

            Strange though it may sound, there’s sizable number of Hagee-types among the southern black population, who view Arab Muslims as devils at work to wipe out the Angels of the Middle East, the Israeli Jews. I’m sure that Obama isn’t blind to this and thus will go above and beyond to make sure that he doesn’t inflame his faithful followers of the South into believing that he’s working on behalf of the devils against Christ.

          2. Doug Terpstra

            Alex, this is a case where absence of evidence is evidence of absence. The Congressional Black Caucus has evaporated, and progressive champions like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharptongue are all but invisible. What happened to these camera-hungry publicity-hounds? And why did it take so long for Cornel West to finally come out and say Obama was a water-boy for the oligarchs?

            The circumstantial evidence for the race-based neutering of the black progressives is overwhelming, and their silence is deafening! In a case of massive co-optation, the death of the liberal class among blacks was a massacre—a brilliant (so far) bloodless coup by the oligarchs.

            See some discussion of this in “Smiley vs.Sharpton: A Potemkin Drama”

            –“Sharpton and his crowd have devolved to meek and ridiculous access-seekers with no significant agenda to ‘ballyhoo.’”

            –“”Black political theater was bum-rushed by the Obama phenomenon.”

            –““Sharpton made common cause with New York billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vast political/financial network.”

            —“The Reverend and his fellow unrepentant Obamites have been giving the president a ‘pass’ since he first appeared on the national scene.”


    1. Foppe

      If you’ll allow me to be slightly facetious: they are into labels because all they do do is talk. Many people seem to have an immense fascination with working together only with those people whose beliefs they can approve of. And rather than not asking, they want to know everything, only to find out that they really cannot agree with anyone, because they are all “wrong”. Liberals (and to a slightly lesser degree libertarians) have this down to an art form, yet they never realize that this is exactly what is keeping them from organizing politically.
      Republicans, on the other hand, (and I am overgeneralizing here only to make a point) are mostly uneducated, and thus don’t really have all that many (refined) beliefs to begin with. So they don’t really care what others believe, so long as they agree on abortion/war/communists.

  11. stockdude

    And another thing…
    Lets all stop calling “the financial behemoths, the purchased politician”—–lets stop calling them the elites.

    They are criminals, deceptors, actors, thugs, thieves, news generators and controllers. They understand the mass workings of human nature much as Jim Morrison did, however, in no way proper way are they “elite”.

    Elite is a description of honor and well honed skill.

    Well then again…maybe they are the “master thieves”. Regardless, lets stop using the term elite.

    In the linguistic/mind ties that are part of the human condition, the use of the term elite is almost the same as conceding the battle right out of the gate.

  12. rafael bolero

    I think this film’s p.o.v. is more true more often at the national, rather than the state level : the difference between a Scott Walker and a Jim Doyle is huge, despite Doyle’s corporate future path now. Walker, the republican, is savagely grabbing power for his corporate masters, as we are seeing in the other red-tide states under The Inquisition. A democratic governor would not being doing what Walker is doing, or certainly not at this pace. So, nationally, yes, this is a more correct perspective, but at the state level less so. I think one possible solution is each state must become its own lab to reset representative government and the social contract those people want. Is it Vermont or New Hampshire that is setting up the single-payer health care? That’s what I mean : and WI with the recalls. To what extent the Fed Govt. then moves in to block the state(s) from doing business regionally and coerce it/them to toe the corporate line will show how close we come to actual rebellions, which, if they do not remain non-violent, are doomed.

  13. hell

    To go back the the Adam Curtis documentaries from the earlier post……the electorate has been win over?/brainwashed?/surrendered to the idea that there is no other political system than the Reaganonomics model.

    This country needs New Deal II. However Obama/Democratic Party won’t deliver it either because they are closest Reaganistas or don’t have the political spine to push New Deal II onto the political agenda.

  14. Schofield

    As Mahatma Gandhi replied on his visit to Britain when asked by a reporter what he thought about British democracy, “Yes, that would be nice!”

    1. alex

      Sounds good, but I thought that’s what he said when he was asked about Western Civilization.

      1. ambrit

        I think, (tongue firmly in cheek,) that the former quote was elicited when Ghandi first came to England to study for the Bar at the appropriately named Temple.

  15. Anonymous Jones

    It has always confused me how much people are drawn to politicians, something about human nature, I guess.

    The latest Wikipedia-Sarah Palin-Paul Revere thing is instructive in this regard. The people who are rabid supporters of this clearly incompetent and ignorant woman are not able to understand that she is at heart a self-interested politician (only she’s just not very good at it other than being attractive and an ignorant blank slate upon which they can project their hopes and dreams)? Why do they work so hard to be duplicitous on her behalf? I don’t know.

    You could basically say the same things about Obama or Nixon (well, except that they are/were intelligent to the extent one can have an objective measurement of intelligence (which, yes, is difficult)).

    And libertarians. Yikes. Define “liberty.” You cannot. Just like you cannot define “equal treatment” or “equal protection,” which is either “treating people in different situations the same” or in some cases “treating people in different situations differently.” I know, I really know, you *think* you can. You really believe you can. But you cannot. I’ve seen smarter people try. Trust me. These concepts are more subtle than you can possibly imagine. You could write tomes devoted to each one.

    In any event, I’ve said it before (and I’ll probably say it again), it’s my experience that placing your faith in politicians is not as productive as you might hope and working locally within your own community to make life better for yourself and others is likely more productive (but that is just my opinion, I cannot prove it.)

    1. Foppe

      Define “liberty.” You cannot. Just like you cannot define “equal treatment” or “equal protection,” which is either “treating people in different situations the same” or in some cases “treating people in different situations differently.”

      So drop the philological stuff and just let people decide for themselves what they judge to be an instance of liberty, or equality.
      And when both sides have done this, we are in the situation to which Marx’s Dictum applies: “Between equal rights, force decides.”
      But you are correct. Life is messy. And (as the corporatists show time and time again): you don’t have rights, you fight for them.

      1. Foppe

        To put it differently: many people who dislike politics have the idea that there is such a thing as the “right” definition of “equality” or “just behavior”. Yes, there are some definitions that do not even work at first glance, but most definitions of what is just or equal or fair will pass this test. And at that point, epistemic considerations (“the right meaning”) fall by the wayside, and it becomes a political battle over who gets the right to define the meaning of ‘justice’ in that country.

    2. F. Beard

      Define “liberty.” You cannot. AJ

      Maybe so but tyranny is pretty dang obvious. The banking and money system is an obvious example.

    3. Praedor

      I can define it for a certain crowd (libertarians and the GOP): “liberty” is a standin for “I got mine, ha-ha! Hooray for me and YOU CAN’T HAVE ANY!” It is also, “Every man for himself!”.

      Libertarians add 3 specifics as religious dictates: liberty equals “private property” that they can pollute, trash, despoil, wreck, stripmine, burn as they see fit no matter what the greater consequences to neighbors or the environment (as if “private property” is some law of nature and exists outside of being a mere social convention), guns, and a gold standard. Three things and only three things that they can CLEARLY define as “liberty”: private property, guns, gold standard.

      1. F. Beard

        Actually, a government enforced gold standard is fascist, not libertarian.

        Guns and private property are cool though I don’t rule out the justice of wealth redistribution since we’ve had fascism in the US since 1913 at the latest.

  16. Susan Truxes

    Lifting the Veil was painful. All my heroes were there. Some of them still alive. And things never manage to change significantly. The chips are really down now for reasons we did not even imagine in the 60s. Things like the absurdity of the banking system; global degradation and massive overpopulation; uncontrollable exploitation of resources; disregard of lessons learned the hard way, etc. So maybe the most encouraging thing about Lifting the Veil is that they haven’t won anything either. Both sides are still where they were 45 years ago. And the guy I miss the most is George Carlin.

  17. John Bennett

    As I watched this video, I asked myself how we got here from our ideal of the US. Then I came across this BBC series called The Century of the Self. It concerns the influence of Freud on history, political science, politics. and economics and ultimately on public policy. It is a four part series, each part is about 55 minutes long. The websites are all over the map. If you don’t have time for all of it, at least do the first and last.

    Enjoy if you can and then ponder.





  18. Philip Pilkington

    I must say, I’ve never stopped loving Ames. He calls a spade a spade.

    The US is probably the only country in the world that has ‘discovered’ the liberty of libertarianism.

    That either means it’s highly advanced culturally — or it’s sinking into a quagmire and justifying its own demise through absurd rationalisations that most of the world scoff at.

    I’m not saying anything… I’m just saying…

          1. Philip Pilkington

            Alright, for once — I’m not even sure why — I’m going be a little less allusive than usual.

            America is in a ditch. This is reflected in the minds of its people. They are confused about how to run the country. They think legitimate rule is equal to fascism and think that government is equal to tyranny.

            They think that money is worthless and meaningless. They think that social institutions are lying to them.

            In short: they are nihilists.

            These are the ideologies of a failed power. And the citizens that partake are the discontents that reflect this. It’s a tragedy and I wish it weren’t so — because I like many American ideals.

            But this is where we live.

          2. F. Beard


            You guys have had 317 years to get central banking right and now you’ve plunged US into Great Depression II but you STILL think you have all the answers?

            “Forever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth” comes to mind.

            When will you give up on a money system that is based on theft, particularly from the poor?

          3. Philip Pilkington

            Never… of course…

            Because you people keep chasing perfection, while others just try and keep the whole circus running.

            Don’t you get it? You’re either a saint or a clown… and if you’re a saint then you’re irrelevant.

            Be the best clown you can be and shut the fuck with your nonsense… Think FDR… not Lenin…

          4. skippy

            LMAO…I would like to put PP, Berady and DownSouth in a *Ranger Bear Pit* see:


            Not to see whom won but, to see which two would form a team, to defeat the stand alone.

            Skippy…in the tooth and claw days in was a pit, with mud and water in the bottom. Object was last man standing.

            PS. Gnawing on the head is a no no, one way ticket to the psych ward for observation. Old chum did the no no, funny how under duress certain unobserved traits pop out….eh.

          5. F. Beard

            Because you people keep chasing perfection, while others just try and keep the whole circus running. PP

            Few are laughing any more. Plus, reform would not require perfection. It would only require that money creation be ethical.

            Be the best clown you can be and shut the fuck with your nonsense… Think FDR… not Lenin… PP

            Both believed in central banking so no thanks.

          6. Philip Pilkington

            “Few are laughing any more. Plus, reform would not require perfection. It would only require that money creation be ethical.”

            …or it might require you to get off your ass. But I have a stark feeling that you prefer complaining.

            Armchair nonsense.

            The fact is that things are only going to change when you get OFF YOUR ASS and get out into the real world. When you join political groups — not to discuss gold-standard or whatever — but to engage in trying to change the political process.

            Many Americans have forgotten this — and so they spend their time moaning on the internet. This will be your destruction — trust me.

          7. F. Beard

            But I have a stark feeling that you prefer complaining. PP

            No, I prefer coming up with a solution and I pretty much have. If no one is interested, that’s really not my problem. Seeds are sown but sometimes the soil isn’t receptive.

          8. alex

            Philip Pilkington: “They think legitimate rule is equal to fascism and think that government is equal to tyranny.”

            Which subset is “they” and about which _specific_ issues do “they” think legitimate government is tyranny? Are you talking about finance? Do you have, for example, poll results indicating that the majority of Americans oppose financial regulation, are in favor of TBTF bailouts, or oppose prosecution for financial crimes?

            Or are you reacting to editorials and (warning: confirmation bias trap) listening to the opinions of a few posters on the Internet?

            “They think that money is worthless and meaningless.”

            Stand on the street and see how many Franklins you can hand out. Remember, don’t coerce anyone into taking them! Perhaps you’re confusing a grand notion of “worthless and meaningless” with a simple concern about inflation.

            “In short: they are nihilists.”

            No, they’re disgusted and pessimistic.

  19. Paul Tioxon

    Depending on how disillusioned you already are or prepared to become as a committed, politically aware and active individual, THE VEIL, starts to get at the structure of the modern liberal state. We are all managed, we are planned for, it is just hard for people to accept how unconscious they are. But at the same time, trying to get at the truth, the solution, the movement for a more democratic society, more democratic than what? It is clear that the banking crisis has lead to a questioning of the people who have the power to safeguard our social order in the most fundamental way and revealed the structure of power as it is, not as compared to what is real, which is a synonym for too many people for some ideal, some set of notions that only exist by virtue of language, and only in their minds. The banking crisis is as big a cultural change event as the JFK assassination was for many people. The lies were so thick you could could cut them with a knife and today is no different. But what is revealed in addition to all of the bad loans, the cheating investment bankers, the short sellers, the hedge funds is the naked power of the people who this entire economy serves better than the millions unemployed, the millions foreclosed upon and millions without health care. It serves them better than the people who retained their jobs and their homes intact. It serves them better than the city of Detroit that used to be a city of 2 million people and is falling to 700,000 and is entire city blown up into ruble, not just one big city square at NYCs ground zero. And Detroit, bombed back into the stone age looks worse than NYC, because their has been no sanctimonious rebuilding, no legends of the heroes, no how could this have happened to Americans in American and how do we prevent it from ever happening again.

    Detroit almost had its brains blown out with point blank bullets to the head, but for the industrial bailout fought for by Obama. It is no accident that Detroit has been systematically defenestrated by corporate management and the rest of big business trying to kill the biggest and most powerful industrial union, based on auto industry workers and rippling out through its supply chains into the steel industry and the coal industry, all heavily unionized. Obama saved that union, its jobs, its health care fund, its pensions, at the cost of shareholders and bondholders. I still have not seen an adequate answer to these facts. There is a difference, and that is a big enough of a difference for me. The fact that so much corruption is part and parcel of American business is not news to the people who work on assembly lines, coal mines and steel mills. People die in industrial accidents in these lines of work every day, have been beaten, shot and seen their union leaders assassinated and disappeared in the struggle to unionize. Jimmy Hoffa, is a punch line of jokes that you would never hear about Martin L King or Robert Kennedy, but a union leader, is the shithead under the goal post at Giant Stadium. No holy marble monument for him. The people who the establishment are most worried about are NOT the people who actually have the guts to rise up and tear this country to piece when they finally have had enough torture and eating the shit shoveled out as the American Dream. The problem, for the liberal state is to not have a enough ameliorating social welfare reforms, including widespread healthcare, public education, higher education, good housing and a dignified old age without a broken down body and an adequate pension. If there are a 10000 billionaires, IF I still have a good LIVING, I really don’t give a shit how much more money banksters make MORE than the pure and holy naked capitalism crowd.

    The fact of the matter is, my living IS diminished along with my humanity by the actual policies that have been set in motions by the people who are in the process of setting a police state to contain the political upheaval heading our way, that they know for a fact is heading our way, because they are doing everything in their power to instigate a class conflict explosion. Attacking unions is part of a strategy, as is strangling the middle class. But that CAN turn around by policy changes, that are clear signals of a better alternative to shooting us down in the streets like they did at Kent State, Jackson STate and all across the country when we took to the streets. All of the social sciences are measures of society to make sure there is not a bloody revolution. Yes, to coopt to us so we do not kill one another. The number of bombings in the USA during the height of the SDS, was 3 a day. IEDs going off all over America, and in Europe. And since I am not a Rockefeller or an Emir or Sultan, I don’t want a bloody insurrection, but the republicans on the other hand. Just listen to the 2nd Amendment final solution they regularly mouth. I would rather live through a political struggle than take my chances against the state and the reactionary armed NRA in a bloody conflict that would not change things much more than the French Revolution permanently improved the lot of workers. So yea, Obama is a brand, that is how you communicate to 310,000,000 people in a modern 21st century nation state. Surprise surprise. We are coopted instead of being beaten and shot. Well good, pick a side and push to take control of the state bureaucracy for the sake of green jobs, electric cars, solar panels, organic farming, credit unions, please, co opt all of these ideas asap. I can’t wait to sell out.

  20. Septeus7

    Interesting discussion so I decided to put in my two cents.

    I think we are lacking a vision of what American civilization is about and what we want to do with our civilization. The lack of vision for a future results in two kinds of confusion resulting in two kinds of reactionary factions.

    The above mention synthetic third party movement aka the “Tea Party/Libertarian” uses the rhetoric of freedom and liberty but being rooted in philosophical Neoliberalism they can only define those ideas in terms of freedom and liberty for property owners and therefore representative government must act to defend the “freedom and liberty” proportional to the distribution of property. However, since the rules governing the acquisition of property i.e. markets (primarily though the state supported FIRE sector as F. Beard is always pointing out) are rigged institutionally toward the concentration of wealth thus increasing “freedom and liberty” will only result in true liberty and freedom being eroded for those lacking oligarchical privilege.

    On the other hand, seeing the failure of traditional paths of resisting the loss of political power because of self appointed institutional sellout “Liberals” and “Progressives” a few folks around here have began to look more deeply into the fact the all the institutional “Liberal Progressives” have in fact historically functioned as Mark Ames says ” Big Co-apters.”

    After such disillusionment, I believe the reaction by many here at Naked Capitalism appeals to Anarchism, Malthusian doomerism and rejection of the very idea of “progress” and the hierarchies that the division of labor will make necessary.

    The result is that it seems that the “Left” or democratic/republican/populist forces of all stripes are tempted into nihilism; saying that liberty, freedom, progress, and even the development of civilization itself are meaningless and cannot be defined and even if they could be, there would be no reason to believe in those things.

    I don’t think this kind thinking represents the best we can do nor is it a positive development for society. Rather, it is something that Adam Curtis has ripped off the mask of it’s pretenses of Nietzschian superhuman ascension above the “Good and Evil” of civil society or Rousseauian romantics trying to liberate man from the “evil” constraints necessarily imposed by civil society and restoring him to the “balance of nature.”

    In the following film and interview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjEsk2lBj8c http://www.littleatoms.com/adamcurtis.htm) Adam Curtis has I think demonstrated that such ideas rather than being scientific and politically neutral represent retreat from the culture and society. And can, in fact, be tools of oligarchs in much the same way that far right Libertarianism functions to capture populist outrage and neutralize threats to the Oligarchy.

    The antihierachical movements, just like the hippy communes, have no chance of being the basis of reorganizing society and in truth represent nothing but cowardice. It is irresponsibly turning away from what is really required to have true republican government. What is required is the willingness to exercise pure, brutal, unrelenting political power.

    The truth is that only way to change the system is to become the system for ourselves just as the Oligarchy has been more than willing to exercise the power of brute politics to become our current system through parallel organizations of government and bureaucracy. We democratic republicans must do the same.

    Rather than something to be feared power must be embraced for what it really is…self government.

    We must set up our own and superior form of government and assert it’s authority over existing institutions and impose those truly republican institutions into the current structures and when we meet resistance we must declare all resistance illegitimate and an invalid usurpation of the rights of a sovereign people. We are the People…so “there is no alternative.”

    I have a very clear vision of exactly we in this country need to institute in order to create a more perfect union. If folks are interested, I will write another post for what I call “Republic 2.0” because we need a reboot.

  21. jackson r tyree

    The 2012 election has allready been decided! The corporations darling Obamas on his way out! In 2012 the republican national convention will put forth Jeb Bush and it’s all over but the crying and moaning from the left! Diebold and voter cageing once again wins the day for corporate america!

  22. JEHR

    Why does anyone ask Kissinger for his opinion? I don’t understand what he has to say that would give us any new revelations. Maybe that is the point!

  23. Munk

    Didn’t check to see if someone had already corrected you, so forgive me if this is a repeat, but the word is “co-opt”.

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